German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine will meet in the second leg of their European Champions League round-of-16 matchup in Dortmund on Tuesday March 5. The first encounter ended in a 2-2 draw in Ukraine due to a late Dortmund goal. This means Donetsk is going to have to score at least two goals in a draw to go through or reach extra time or they need to win the game outright.
A 0-0 or 1-1 draw won’t do them any good while a 2-2 draw will see extra time. Any win will also see them advance. The advantage here of course lies with Dortmund and they’re going to be tough to beat at home, but they can’t risk trying to hang on for a goalless result. Dortmund has won two, drawn two and lost once in their last five games overall while Donetsk has a pair of wins and losses along with a draw. Dortmund managed to beat Hannover 3-1 in a league contest on the weekend.
This should be a dramatic game, but when it’s all over look for Dortmund to go through to the quarterfinals.
Online bookmaker William Hill has the latest odds of a Dortmund win at 8/13 while the odds of a Shakhtar Donetsk victory are 5/1 and a draw is listed at 13/5.
Dortmund strong at home
Dortmund is the reigning champions of the Bundesliga and they’re almost impossible to beat in their home stadium in the Champions League. They won all four of their group stage matches at home and these came against some pretty solid teams in Ajax of Amsterdam, as well as Spain’s Real Madrid and reigning English Premier League kings Manchester City.
There’s still a lot of hard work ahead of the German side though if they hope to reach the quarterfinal stage for the first time since back in 1997/98. They will be depending on Polish striker Robert Lewandowski to lead the attack again. He’s been as hot as a pistol so far this season with 16 goals in 21 league games for Dortmund as well as four goals in the Champions League. However, it hasn’t been enough for Dortmund to challenge for the lead in the Bundesliga. It appears certain that they won’t repeat as champions since they’re 17 points back of league-leading Bayern Munich.
Shakhtar is in a different boat as they lead the Ukraine league by 13 points. They’ve managed to win 18 out of their 19 league matches and are always a tough squad to face no matter where they’re playing. Their leading scorer and major attacking threat is Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Armenia with 18 goals in 18 games in the domestic league. Alex Teixeira is also quite an offensive force. Shakhtar finished in second place in Group E in the Champions League group stage behind Italian champions Juventus. Some of their better players this season have been Douglas Costa, Ilsinho, Darijo Srna, Razvan Rat, and of course Luiz Adriano.
Shakhtar doesn’t really have any other option but to attack since they have to score at least one goal for a win or two for a draw. This means we should see some wide open football from them at some point during the match. They’re going to have to take a few risks, but of course they don’t want to allow another goal against. However, going behind 1-0 won’t be the end of the world for them since a 2-1 win will be good enough to advance.